Thankful from A to Z
Am I thankful for this past year? You alpha-bet I am.
Before 2020, I generally found gratitude in one of two forms.
One would be a languid, relaxing daydream-y type of thankfulness. The bubbles of thanks that casually float to the surface of consciousness while you're sitting on the beach on vacation, or with a cup of coffee staring out at a sunrise thinking, Hmmm...I am so thankful to be here, to be alive... The purpose of this thought has no beginning and certainly no end...it often doesn't lead to any major life change. You just think the thankful thought and leisurely move on with the rest of your day.
The second is the desperate, grappling thankful release, often flowing into my head after some sort of life-threatening situation. Like the time I went hiking in Connecticut by myself, discovered a set of abandoned rappelling ropes and deciding to climb up them, falling half-way up, and catching a rock with one hand before I fell off the side of the mountain. After I climbed to safety I was hit with an avalanche of Christ Lord thank the heavens I didn't just die right now I should have died but I'm here Bless that rock that saved my little life thank you thank you thank you.
Other times it happens when you swoop into your car right before the meter maid gets to you, or that strange mole you got checked out turned out to be nothing. It's the Boy-Did-I-Just-Dodge-A-Bullet-type of thankfulness.
This year, however, has introduced a new type of gratitude to my daily life. It's the one that doesn't come easily, the kind you have to strain a bit to fully realize. This is the kind of thankfulness you have to look for even when there isn't much evidence for its existence.
This year has been hard. It is hard right now as I write this. Millions of people lost their job in 2020. Millions around the world died tragically, leaving millions more to mourn for their passing. Twelve million Americans are set to loose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas.
But even in hardship, there's always room to actively work to remember the things in your life you ARE thankful for. Sit down and write out one thing you're grateful for that begins with each letter in the alphabet. At the end, you'll have 26 reminders of how rich life is, and 26 gentle pushes to get over the hill into 2021.
Here are mine:
A is for Alcohol. All the Alcohol.
B is for Breadmaker. Yes, I jumped on the trend too.
C is for Camping. A socially-distanced activity by design, getting out of our house far into nature was a much, much needed respite.
D is for Dog Park. While the humans all stay at a distance, at least I can watch my dog wrestle and interact with others.
E is for Essential Workers. Truly, it feels so lucky to be able to stay at home while others have to sacrifice their safety and security for the safety and security of others every day.
F is for Fauci, Top National Dad with his protective rules and home-by-10pm decrees. But it's only because he cares.
G is for Grubhub and their promo codes.
H is for Hamilton on Disney +, and getting to pretend I was back seeing live theatre again for a night was a real treat.
I is for Investing. There was so much money stress this year, but I was fortunate to be able to channel that anxiety into creating a lil' investing portfolio.
J is for Job. Thank the Heavens I have a job right now.
K is for Kamala Harris. Knowing we have our first female VP heading to The White House in January is pure medicine for the soul.
L is for the way you look at me... All masked up, it was fun to catch the sympathetic glance of a random stranger while standing in line at the grocery or passing in the street.
M is for Masterclass. I signed up for the yearly subscription for the education online program. After blazing through my fields of interest, I started branching out into random classes I never would have taken normally.
N is for Non-Alcoholic Beer. For when I got a little TOO grateful for alcohol and had to reel it back in.
O is for Outdoor Seating and Patio Furniture.
P is for Pajama sets. I've been spending the majority of my day in the them, and having a 'set' makes me feel like I'm wearing an 'outfit.'
Q is for The Queen's Gambit. It was a great show to watch with a glass of wine at the end of the day, and even inspired to me to pull out my own chess set from the closet and play a few rounds against my fiancée. (I lost.)
R is for Running. With gyms closed, outdoor running became the daily endorphin-boost I needed.
S is for Scrabble. Revisiting our board games this year proved to be a fun, free home-date activity.
T is for Timehop, the Facebook feature. Getting morning reminders of the things I was doing last year made me even more thankful for those times than ever.
U is for Ukelele. The easiest hobby to pick up.
V is for Vocal. A cheesy choice, I know! But this platform has truly been a valuable source of motivation to keep writing and stay engaged to my writing goals on a daily basis.
W is for Working Car. My car broke down six times in 2019. Since I haven't been driving much this year, it hasn't had the opportunity to break down yet.
X is for XOXOs. While we couldn't do much actual xing and oing this year, I could send them as a sign-off in handwritten letters to my family.
Y is for Youtube. The amount of Youtube Chiropractor videos I've watched this year is...staggering.
Z is for Zoom. Thanks, Zoom.
Happy Thanksgiving, all!